Like you, I’ve heard the excitement in people’s voices when they talk about Megan Abbott’s books. If they’re all in the vein of The Fever, then I can understand why. I blew through this book in two sittings… couldn’t tear myself away from the next page and didn’t want to return to my own reality until I knew what was making all of the girls in the book so violently sick. It read more like sci-fi than mystery to me, though it was obviously a thrilled through and through. Plagues, pandemics, and mass hysteria make for great momentum and energy on the page, after all.
Abbott’s descriptive way with words is amazing and lush, sinking the reader down into the algae-filled lake right alongside the characters. Skin feels touchable and smells seep from the pages while you’re reading, but then this often seems true of any book that you devour in a condensed period of time. Hard to say if that’s cause or effect.
It’s also interesting to me how she crosses the boundary between adult and YA fiction, using teenagers as the main characters but rooting the story firmly in the world of adults. Innocence shattered and many other coming-of-age elements are in there, but it just doesn’t feel like a YA book.
Suffice it to say that other shave written extensively about Abbott and her work, and I’ll leave the longform thoughts to them. I have to run check out more of her books from the library, and will try to stay cool until her new title, You Will Know Me arrives in late July. Read reviews of The Fever and learn more about Megan Abbott:
- The Center for Fiction, interview with Megan Abbott
- PEN America, interview with Megan Abbott
- The Independent, book review
This post is part of #MySummerOfMysteries, a project to immerse myself in mysteries, thrillers, crime writing, and whodunits. For each book I finish, I’m posting brief thoughts and reflections here. Please note that these are not intended as full reviews. To view my reading progress throughout the summer, click here.